Coronavirus Relief for Some Federal Student LoansPosted on: August 10, 2021
The information provided on this post does not, and is not intended to, represent legal advice. All information available on this site is for general informational purposes only. If you need legal help, you should contact a lawyer. You may be eligible for our free legal services and can apply by calling our Covid Legal Hotline at 1-844-244-7871 or applying online here.
What help is being offered during the COVID-19 Pandemic?
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) has extended student loan help through at least January, 2022. Depending on your loan you may be eligible for:
- a suspension of loan payments
- a 0% interest rate or
- stopped collections on defaulted loans.
This help only applies to ED loans. To see if your loan is an ED loan, go to https://studentaid.gov/help-center/answers/article/is-my-loan-federal-or-private
Monthly Payment Suspension
ED owned student loans are on a temporary payment suspension as of March 13, 2020. This means you don’t have to make monthly payments now. If you made a payment since March 13, 2020, you can request a refund from where you pay.
Bad credit should not be reported during the suspension period even if you choose to try and make payments.
Temporary 0% Interest Rate on Loans Owned by ED
All federal student loans owned by the U.S. Department of Education automatically had their interest rates lowered to 0% from March 13, 2020 until the COVID emergency relief period ends.
Private student loans, Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) loans that are owned by commercial lenders, and Federal Perkins Loans that are owned by schools are not eligible for the reduced interest rate. But you can consolidate these loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan, which is eligible for the 0% interest rate. If considering this, consider whether this is the best option long-term once the relief period and the 0% interest rate.
Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) Recertification
If your loan payments were reduced because of your low income, you do not have to recertify your income during the COVID-19 emergency relief period. If you keep your current address, you will be notified when it is time to recertify. Make sure to keep your contact information updated where you pay your loan.
Some people are trying to rip students off. There is no coronavirus-related loan forgiveness for federal student loans. There is no fee for the payment suspensions or 0% interest rate period from loan servicers or the federal government. If anyone contacts you asking for money to perform any of these services, it is a scam.